CBD timed parking on the agenda

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River's main street makeover now means the possibility of timed parking.
Camera IconMargaret River's main street makeover now means the possibility of timed parking. Credit: Warren Hately Picture:

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has put timed parking back on the agenda for the newly redeveloped central business district.

At a catch-up with traders last Thursday night, asset services project officer Susan Elton said consultation was due to start on unpaid timed parking options.

While traders fought hard against the introduction of timed parking back in 2009 — with a heated meeting at the old Knights Inn seeing council chiefs abandon the push — in 2017, the Shire warned timed parking would probably be needed once the perimeter road opened.

Last Thursday, Shire assets manager David Nicholson said despite the diversion of heavy trucks off the main strip thanks to the bypass, local traffic remained on par because of population growth and movements caused by COVID-19.

“The pressure on the main street has been taken up by the (increased) traffic,” he said.

The perennial issue of people — and quite often employees — clogging up main street bays all day now had to be addressed, the meeting heard.

Attitudes to the proposal also may have softened through the years, with fewer bays now on the main street, and the catch-up again hearing Shire officers defend the unpopular square kerbing as appropriate.

Ms Elton said consultation would start next week, with no fixed intention of how timed parking might operate. “We have no preconceived ideas what that would look like,” she said.

“Some owners are experiencing issues with people parking outside their premises for a considerable length of time.”

A limited section of timed parking could be considered, or more widespread coverage, she said, and the Shire was keen for detailed feedback from traders, she said.

“We’d like to hear any issues you are experiencing with parking,” Ms Elton said.

Business owners have persistently bemoaned the loss of parking in central Margaret River, with some operators now leasing a private carpark from Settlers Holdings. Separately from last week’s meeting, Settlers Tavern co-owner Rob Gough said he and others continued working on a proposal to the Shire to address the lack of parking. The Times understands timed parking would be enforced by Shire rangers.

Visit yoursay.amrshire.wa.gov.au/parking-on-the-main-street.

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